- 1931 - 1968 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
Approx. 10 m textual records and graphic material
Name of creator
Marjorie Lamb (1907-1989) was born 17 October 1907 in London, Ontario, the only daughter of Col. Henry J. Lamb and Agnes Bermingham. The family settled in Toronto where Henry worked as an engineer for the federal government. The Lambs were a prominent family. Henry J. Lamb was a member of and president of the Professional Engineers Ontario. He was a parishioner at St. Basil’s Church. Marjorie Lamb was educated at Harvegal College, the Lycee in France and at the Sorbonne. She was recognized as a public figure and appeared in The Toronto Star society and news columns throughout her adult life. Following the publication of her co-authored biography The Boyd Gang in 1957, she was primarily known for her authorship of that work. Her publication of the Alert Service newsletter began around the same time. Between 1955 and 1967 she assembled an extensive documentation of the activities of known and suspected communists both in Canada and abroad. The Alert Service was closely affiliated with the Catholic Women’s League, of which Lamb was also a member. Marjorie Lamb died 11 November 1989.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
The Marjorie Lamb Collection was donated to the Kelly Library in 2001 by her estate executor Father J. Ambrose Raftis.
Content and structure area
Scope and content
The Marjorie Lamb/ Alert Service fonds is primarily comprised of the research and publishing files of Marjorie Lamb in her capacity as a public speaker and the author of the Alert Service newsletter. The newsletter, which she published in the 1950s and 1960s sought to expose and counteract Communist activities in Canada. Her files extensively document the labour movement, Cold War political issues at the municipal, provincial and federal levels, and radical social movements in Toronto and across Canada. Implicit throughout the records are the issues of domestic espionage and propaganda.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
No further accruals expected.
System of arrangement
The files are partially described and as such have not yet been arranged in fixed series.
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Materials are still being processed but may be made available to researchers by request.
Conditions governing reproduction
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
Generated finding aid
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
The research and reference files of the Alert Service fonds encompass the majority of the documents housed at the Kelly library. A smaller number of records including correspondence, political publications and ephemera, financial records and notebooks are also represented in the fonds. A portion of Father Raftis' papers are also kept with the fonds, and may pertain to the Marjorie Lamb files.